It is family vacation time. Instead of traveling to the NorthShore or the Black Hills or some other Minnesota hot spot, this summer you might want to consider vacationing closer to home.
There is a “hidden” gem right here in central Minnesota and St. Joseph many of you might not have considered — the Lake Wobegon Regional Trail.
As often can be the case, destinations close to home can often be overlooked and taken for granted.
The LWRT has so much to offer, it’s amazing.
First, consider the trail starts right here in St. Joseph. Second, it meanders through some of the most scenic countryside in the state. Third, it connects eight cities and covers more than 62 miles.
If you are a biker or a walker, a hiker or a bird-watcher, a small-town enthusiast or a nature lover, there could not be a better destination for you to enjoy. In addition, with the price of gas sometimes skyrocketing during the summer months, it will not cost you very much at all.
There are so many special events taking place along the trail and in those small towns during the summer months, it will make you feel like you have stepped right into a Norman Rockwell painting.
And do not forget all the people you could meet as you enjoy the trail. There are the locals, of course, and the quaint restaurants and shops, but there are also thousands of folks who visit the trail from far and wide.
There are oodles of hidden gems. Did you know you can find stands of Lady Slippers growing in spots along the trail? The Minnesota State flower can sometimes be a difficult flower to locate. Many Minnesotans have never even seen the elusive plant in the wild since the soil conditions needed for them to grow are unique, making them virtually impossible to duplicate in man-made settings.
There are also one-of-a-kind items to peruse, such as the longest covered bridge in Minnesota just down the trail in Holdingford. You do not have to travel to Iowa if you want to enjoy a covered bridge like the type made famous in the book and movie, “Bridges of Madison County.”
You may not bump into Clint Eastwood as you traverse the trail, but you might see other famous folks like Garrison Keillor, who created the fictional town of Lake Wobegon the trail is named after.
So put away your suitcase, load up the bike and the family, and this year enjoy a summer on the trail right in St. Joseph’s backyard.